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tv   Meet the Press  MSNBC  October 29, 2012 1:00am-2:00am PDT

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yay! there's more to life. it is just those limit moments. i'm veronica de la cruz. we're keeping a close eye on hurricane sandy. it's making its presence felt along the eastern seaboard and has a long way to go before it's gone. the center of the storm is expected to be near the mid-atlantic coast monday night. major flooding and power outages are expected to impact millions of residents on the east coast. airlines already have canceled thousands of flights with more expected. let's go ahead and bring in our meteorologist bill karins with the latest on the track of the storm. what's it looking like?
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>> the storm is still on track for destiny along the jersey shore but spreading all the way from central new england all the way down through the carolinas and everyone within that range needs to expect power outages to be widespread. now, you can notice the radar rain loss will be an issue especially in the delmarva area and delaware and maryland. winds are howling up to 20 to 30 miles per hour and only gets worse during the day. once it hits 40 or 50 miles per hour is when we'll start to see power outages become more widespread. winds are still pretty strong from new york city down the jersey shore so this storm will be moving inland later on when the worst of the weather will arrive in the mid-atlantic. veronica. >> bill karins, we do appreciate it. we'll keep you up to date and first we'll get you to "meet the press." this morning on "meet the press," just nine days to go. a special focus on the battleground states where this
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election will be won. the final push has president obama and governor romney barnstorming seven critical swing states across the country in the hunt for 270 electoral votes. the arguments -- >> the unemployment rate is falling. manufacturing is coming back to our shores. our assembly lines are humming again. >> the passion -- >> this is an election about big things, about big choices. >> and the ground game. the critical effort to deliver key voting groups to the polls. this morning, we hear about it all from key figures on the ground in these states, all-important ohio. can romney win the white house without it? we're ask the state's republican governor, john kasich. also joining us, wisconsin's republican governor, scott walker, and colorado's democratic governor, john hickenlooper. analysis on what will tip the scales in this historically tight presidential race. from our roundtable, from msnbc,
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rachel maddow, "new york times" columnist, david brooks, "washington post" columnist, e.j. dionne, former ceo of hewlett-packard, now vice chair of the national republican senatorial committee, carly fiorina and our political director and chief white house correspondent, chuck todd. good morning, on this sunday, as if it weren't enough to have an incredibly tight race, we now have inclement weather that is bearing down on the east coast. hurricane sandy, a super storm as described, and this could affect more than 50 million people along the east coast. we've got all of this covered, including the political ramifications of the storm in the coming days as we are just nine days to go until the election. i want to go live first to asbury park on the new jersey shore where nbc's al roker will take us through the latest including, al, what you were
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talking about yesterday, which is we could see the aftereffects of this storm right through election day. >> exactly, david. this is a monster storm. right now it's about 260 miles south-southeast of cape hatteras, but it's also about 395 miles east of new york city. it is a sprawling system. the tropical storm-force winds extend out about 500 miles from the center of the storm. so this storm is 1,000 miles in diameter. it's making its way along the coast. right now it's a category 1 storm. it's going to continue to parallel the coast for the next 24 hours. then sometime late monday night, early tuesday morning, the path of the storm will bring it onshore somewhere in central coastal new jersey. the worst part of the storm is the northeast quadrant, and that northeast quadrant, if it follows this path, and we expect it to, will put it right in line for coastal new jersey, new york city, connecticut, new
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england. the storm surge is going to be anywhere from five to ten feet above normal tides. it's going to be coming in at an astronomical high tide, as well. plus, add to that a rainfall of anywhere from 6 to 12 inches of rain. you're going to have coastal flooding, flooding inland and the winds. there are high -- there are high wind warnings. we're talking warnings from virginia all the way up to boston and as far west as west virginia. we're talking 60 million people. and because of those high winds, we expect massive power outages throughout the area. and as the system moves onshore, it's going to be a long-term effect. it's going to last for about 72 hours. and so we are talking about people who could be without power for at least ten days. and that, as you know, will take it right into election day. so what will people do if they can't get to even the voting booth or the voting booths don't have power? it is going to be a real mess over the next 72 hours. david? >> al roker, thank you very much. we'll be watching that. don't forget, early voting going on, as well. how will that be impacted in the days to come. all right. we want to bring in our
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political director, chuck todd, we've got our october surprise now, chuck, and it looks like it's hurricane sandy. >> i think so. >> as we get closer to election day, identify for me the two or three states you think we ought to be focusing on. >> i would just say this. it's obvious, you look at the battleground map. all the states in yellow are the final seven states. and if you look at the candidates' schedules, that's what tells us everything. where the candidates are going tells you where they think this schedule is. now the storm has wreaked havoc on the schedule. for instance, the president is now going to florida today. he has canceled virginia events tomorrow, canceled colorado tuesday, and, frankly, wisconsin on tuesday, i think depending on the impact of the storm, also canceled. but you see the emphasis of where he wants to be over the next 72 hours. florida, ohio and wisconsin. he wanted to be in virginia, he wanted to be in colorado. now take a look at governor romney's schedule here, david. when you look it's ohio today. it was supposed to be virginia today. but he moved all of those events to ohio because of the storm. and then look where he is spending his monday -- it's the
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midwest. and, david, that's where they feel like they got to pick off a couple of states, not just ohio, ohio plus something else. >> it's interesting, as i talked to the romney campaign at the end of the week, they were emphasizing the momentum argument. they feel the debates gave him a second look in such a way that he can carry that through election day. the obama folks say look at the electoral math. we could be in for quite a finish here, if they're both right. >> they could be both right. because we've talked about the popular vote thing and let me throw you -- we've seen some polling out today. if you look at the president's lead, for instance, on the west coast in california, the lead has been cut in half. i've done some math, you can see where mitt romney makes up some 6 to 8 million votes. john mccain lost by 10 million votes. he could pick up a whole bunch of votes in the battleground states. let's go to our battleground map. we have the president winning in virginia, wisconsin is a state
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that just feels on the ground is something that leans toward the president. now you just give him new hampshire, and he sits at 270, that's with giving romney ohio, that's with giving romney florida. that's with giving him iowa. that's with giving him colorado. that's this issue of the battleground versus the popular vote. >> all right. more to come from chuck todd. thank you boesch -- thank you very much. we'll be back in a couple of minutes with him. i want to get to our battleground governors in a minute. but i want to start around the table here with our roundtable. i mentioned rachel maddow is here from msnbc. carly fiorina, david brooks of t"the new york times," e.j. dionne of "the washington post." i feel like the final stretch is going to be dominated by the fight over the economy. it's what ultimately can tip the scales. we have seen now an argument from the president that is about trust. and this is how he lays it out against governor romney. >> there's no more serious issue in a presidential campaign than trust. trust matters. you know, you want to know that the person who is applying to be
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your president and commander in chief is trustworthy, that he means what he says. that he's not just making stuff up depending on whether it's convenient or not. >> how is he using that argument to advance the cause of, hey, you can't trust what you're going to get that's going to ultimately lead to economic recovery under the republicans? >> i think that the president, as the race gets narrower and narrower, we focus on smaller places and smaller numbers of voters. we see that become a resonant argument. we're talking not just about the economy in the midwest, we're talking about the economy in ohio. on the integrity issue, the trust issue, mitt romney this week went to defiance, ohio, and told a group of 11,000 people, jeep is about to move all of their production overseas. i read that somewhere. not at all true. it's okay for a candidate to make a flub. but to not correct it, to not say i was wrong about that, the candidate went back, the campaign was asked, are you sure the candidate actually meant that because that doesn't seem to be true.
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no response clearing that up from the campaign. there's been a truthfulness problem with the romney campaign that connects even to the very basic issues like the economy in the states where it most matters. >> and carly fiorina, from the other side you have governor romney not focusing on trust, saying, look, just look at the record. do you want another four years like what we've had? this is how he's teeing it up down the stretch. >> this is not the time to double down on trickle-down government policies that have failed us. it's time for new bold changes that measure up to the moment and can bring american families the certainty that the future will be better than the past. >> rachel brings up a good point which is it is now an economic argument focused on states like ohio. we're going to talk to governor kasich in a moment, 7% unemployment in that state. so how much credit does the president deserve for improving conditions in important battleground states? >> well, that important battleground state has a republican governor. that's done exactly the opposite of what obama claims he's going to do. that is, he's lowered taxes and closed budget deficits. but i actually find the trust
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argument very odd because president obama promised that we would have 4.2% economic growth right now. we have 2%. he promised an unemployment rate that would be far below where it is today. he hasn't delivered on his promises. on the issue of trust, what is going on with regard to libya? i mean here we have an extraordinary thing where the president comes out on friday and says, i directed that everything possible should be done to aid our embassy under attack. that attack went on for seven hours. we now know that the secretary of defense saying he denied requests for help over that seven hours. >> let's get to libya a little bit later. >> but it's a trust issue. where is the leadership? it's a trust issue. >> on the economy, how does it tip the scales, david brooks and e.j. dionne, in the final nine days? >> i think this has been the worst campaign i've ever covered. i think they're both ending on the same note they started. obama is doing a negative campaign, he's got an ad out which is called "remember" which
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is about romney, the plutocrat, the flip-flopper on the stump. romney is trying to appeal to moderates, to women, which is a bipartisan ad which is saying -- you know, i don't care if it's a republican idea or a democratic idea, i'm going to be for that. and you know so he has shape-shifted. that's not who he is, that's not who his policies are. so i regard this as a campaign that has answered none of our fundamental issues about both of these guy, how they would govern the next four years, and they have finished as badly as they started. >> i disagree. i think the election is a fundamental choice and i think the trust issue links closely with the economic issue. romney has almost run as a product. you want air-conditioning? i'll give you air-conditioning. >> you want rich corinthian leather? you remember that? i'll give you rich corinthian leather. romney is saying you want right wing in the primary? i'll give you that. you want centrist in the election? i'll give you that. and i think it's entirely important that the auto rescue is a good
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example where he was clearly suggesting it and in the debate tried to suggest he was for it and i think it's entirely appropriate that the auto rescue has been so important to obama running so well in ohio. it's a choice -- either government should just sit by and let the market do its thing or government can come in and correct certain outcomes and prevent catastrophe. that's the kind of choice we face in this election. >> what obama is talking about on the trail, first of all, there's no second-term agenda. when he goes off the record with "the des moines register" last week. he gave out a second-term agenda which is nothing like he's been talking about on the trail. >> that's not true at all. >> the corporate tax rates. talking about weeding out immigration. talking about immigration reform, which he has not talked about much in public. >> yes, he has. >> and he's talked about a grand bargain with cutting spending $2.50 for every $1 of tax revenue. >> have you seen the proposal he put on the table? >> if you want to talk about being factually accurate, it's factually inaccurate to say that governor romney was against the rescue of the auto industry. if you read his entire op-ed. you guys are journalists, i assume you believe that words are important. >> i did read it this week.
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>> and what he says in that op-ed is that he believed that the government should have provided financial guarantees. the difference between governor romney's approach and president obama's approach is who gets to stand first in line to get paid off. >> rachel -- >> in the market that was going to go in the auto industry -- >> that's why he said in the op-ed the government should provide guarantees. >> what government? what government? >> okay, hold on. rachel, quick comment here then i want to get back to chuck in ohio. >> what governor romney said is you can kiss the automotive industry good-bye if the president obama goes ahead with the auto industry rescue that he went ahead with that saved the auto industry. >> exactly. >> and it was a success, and mr. romney is trying to deny the fact that he was against it and trying to take some of the credit for it. >> the company that is doing best, ford motor company, was not rescued. >> they were for the auto rescue, because they were afraid the whole supply chain would go out if the others went down. >> all right. quick. let me get back in here. we're going to have more on the economy as we move along because the roundtable
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stays with us for the hour. i'm about to talk to john kasich in ohio where these themes are perfectly in his wheelhouse, because it's really what's going to decide ohio. before we do that, think it would be so interesting to really understand -- we talk so much about ohio. how do you win the state? how do both campaigns win it? i want to bring chuck back in. we've got a new poll coming out of ohio, 49-49, razor tight and this was before the final debate. take a moment here to take us through how each side thinks they win the state. >> you know, the joke is there are five -- it's five states within one state. the five ohios. but let me just take you through basically the romney pattern here which is run up the score in coal country. that's what bush did in '04, and win the swing areas of columbus media market, an '04 bush territory. was '08 obama. and win hamilton county. for the president, run up the score in cleveland, cuyahoga county and overperform with working class white guys in the auto belt, if you will, the toledo area, but if you're looking at just one county that may tell us more than anything, david, you sit over here and we're going to take you to hamilton county.
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look at this. it's as easy of a swing county as it is, bush carried it in '04 by 22,000 votes. obama carried it by 30,000 votes there. it's why mitt romney spent a lot of time in cincinnati this week. >> as hamilton county goes, perhaps ohio goes, so let's turn now to the governor of battleground state, ohio, john kasich. always great to have you on the program. >> good to listen to the big debate on "meet the press" this morning, wow. >> it's nice to start with a little bit of a chuckle here before we get into the serious issues. this was "the cleveland plain dealer" on thursday, jeff darcy, and here's his cartoon that i thought was so telling. it's the martian landing saying, take me to your leaders. and the guy says, they're somewhere in ohio. take i-75 north. et cetera, et cetera, so as you well know, everybody is in ohio. i want to ask you the direct question, governor, you've got 7% unemployment. it's better than the national average. who deserves credit for that? is it the president? is it you as the republican governor or neither one of you?
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>> you know, david, it's probably the job creators, look, we're up 112,000 jobs, the last 4 years, we were down 4,000 jobs. how did we get there? we've made ohio safe for business expansion and business attraction. we balanced our budget. we're running a half a billion dollars in the rainy day fund. we've reduced taxes and our regulators are people who use common sense. so when you do all of that in a state that's within 600 miles of 60% of the country and great diversity among its people, we've just really kind of cleared the way for people to feel confident that they can invest here. you know, i'm interested in this auto debate because, you know, of the 112,000 jobs that were created, according to the bureau of labor statistics, and you know in america today, they're kind of viewed as the vatican. you know, you can't question them. the bureau of labor statistics says we were up a total of 400 jobs, auto jobs, when you count the companies and the suppliers. so of the 400 jobs that are up,
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400 is great. and we are thrilled we have a strong auto industry. and we want it to even be stronger. but it doesn't account for growth of 112,000 jobs in our state. >> well, but you've got one out of eight jobs in your state affiliated with the auto industry. do you think if the president had not pursued his bailout plan that the state would be in the same economic condition today? >> well, i'm glad the auto industry is strong, david. and i don't know anybody who didn't think the auto industry needed to be saved. i mean i will tell you personally, there is no way i would support anybody that didn't support the auto industry. but let me tell you in the last quarter, the most significant area of growth in ohio has been the last quarter, investment technology, i.t. we have grown a financial services. we have grown health care. now, look, i mean there has been significant investment by auto companies in ohio. but the domestic companies are reducing their footprint, and i wish we could get more here. in fact, i just met with the delphi team trying to see how we can get more business there. but i mean let's be fair about this.
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the fact is, the bureau of labor statistics has said, when you take into account the companies and the suppliers, you're up about 400 jobs. we did not grow ohio's economy just by relying on one industry or just one sector. we've done it by diversifying ohio and making it safe for people to come in here. and i got to tell you, i call ceos in other states and they're very interested in what we're doing here because there's no surprises coming. and when there are no surprises, then investors and business people, job creators say, well, maybe it's safe to go there. and, you know, the proof's in the pudding. >> let me ask you about unemployment because, as you know, whoever is responsible for the success in ohio, governor romney doesn't seem very impressed. this is what he said speaking earlier this month to "the columbus dispatch" review editorial board. i don't think 7.2% unemployment is something to write home about. and if you consider the 200,000-plus people who have dropped out of the workforce in ohio, the real number is closer to 10%. i don't find people thinking
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that happy days are here again. what about unemployment nationally? what should we expect under a president romney if it comes to that? >> well, look, first of all, in terms of the unemployment numbers and who's in and who's out, i mean i'm always concerned about what those numbers really mean. what i do know is over the last four years, we had lost 400,000 jobs. and since january of '11, we're up 112,000 jobs. and, by the way, we're outperforming every other state in the midwest. and if the auto bailout is significant, why is it that we're so significantly outperforming michigan, and why is it that ohio is the number one in the midwest and number four in the country? in terms of romney, look, what i want out of a president is i want stability. look, small businesses get paralyzed. if they don't know what the regulations are, if they don't know what the taxes are going to be, if they don't know what they're going to do with debt, and if they don't know what the people in
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washington are going to do, they sit on the sidelines. i want certainty. i think there's ways to get an agreement in washington. but it doesn't have to mean higher rates. it can mean lower rates and eliminating loopholes. >> but, governor, my question is about -- >> david, if we get there, we'll grow. what will we get out of him? we'll get a movement towards a balanced budget. a stabilization of taxes and for some people, a tax cut. and we will have regulators that will use common sense and not overdo it. we have strong regulations here on oil and gas that -- on fracking, the toughest in the country, but we don't overdo it and when people understand certainty, they invest, david. look, this is not theory. i was in business for ten years. we had a lot of people around debating, never been in business in their entire lifetime. and they don't understand it, i do understand it. and the fact is, when they are confident of the future, they can then invest. and there's a lot of money sitting on the sidelines. if romney wins, i believe we're going to see a significantly improved economy. that's why i'm for him. i want ohio to do a lot better than we currently are. >> and so let me ask you this,
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you know one of the big attack lines of the president is that romney is not one of us. that's what running in his ads, that's about supporting autoworkers in your state. separately here was "the cleveland plain dealer's" editorial last sunday. which romney are voters going to get? which romney would they elect, the rather liberal one who ran for the senate in 1994, the pragmatic governor? the reborn moderate of recent weeks? all politicians change positions over time but romney's frequent changes raise questions about his core principles and make the lack of his policy details all the more troubling. they make you wonder if he would stand up to the more extreme elements of his own party, especially to house republicans who undercut ohioan john boehner's attempt to get a budget deal. >> look at his record. a guy created jobs, he's a job creator. we need that. jobs are the greatest moral issue in america today.
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when people are working, families are stronger and children are better off, number one. number two, he was governor from massachusetts. they went from deficits to surpluses, from job loss to job creation. then you look at the olympics where he was a pure leader. you look at his history, and it tells you who the guy is. he's pragmatic, no question about it. but he's also tough and he's firm and he understands job creation. in terms of people not getting him, the first debate, david, i've never seen a debate have this much impact. but the first debate gave people a chance to see, well, you know, they thought romney is smart, he knows all this and that. but he doesn't get me. and that first debate, i believe that he was able to connect with people, and they said, you know, maybe he does get me, and that was an important part of why there's such momentum in the state of ohio right now. look, it's very close, but i believe right now we are currently ahead. internals show us currently ahead. i honestly think that romney is going to carry ohio. and you know i haven't been saying this. i now believe it's going to happen.
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>> governor, just about 15 seconds left. a very technical question. do you think we're going to know the outcome of ohio on election night? as you know, provisional ballots could become an issue that takes some additional time to be counted. what do you say? >> it's going to be really close, david. and the only thing i can say is i hope you all keep talking about ohio and all the folks out there that want to create jobs, come see me. i'm anxious to talk to you. >> do you think we'll know the winner of ohio on election night? >> yeah, i mean i don't know. it's going to be very close, but, yes, i do think that we will know before the end of the night because i tell you something, the independent voters are trending heavily towards mitt romney. and with those numbers like that, it pretty well assures me we're going to know. i'm not sure the election is going to be as close as what everybody is talking about today. and i'm not saying that to do spin. i'm telling you because that's what i really do believe. >> governor kasich, always good to have you on, thank you very much. >> always good to be with you, david, thank you. >> we're going to take a quick break, get some reaction to the governor from our roundtable and also look inside some of these
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voting groups that will decide the race. nine days to go. this is it. we're inside the battlegrounds, joining the conversation in a little while as well, democratic governor of colorado, john hickenlooper, republican governor of wisconsin, scott walker. we'll go inside those battlegrounds as well after we take this break. battlegrounds as well after a break. [ female announcer ] over the years, your mouth has giggled, snuggled, bubbled ...and yellowed. because if you're not whitening, you're yellowing. crest whitestrips remove over ten years of stains and whiten 25 times better than a leading whitening toothpaste. crest 3d white whitestrips.
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coming up, more from the battlegrounds, colorado and wisconsin, two big battlegrounds that the campaigns will have
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their eyes on. i'll be joined by colorado governor john hickenlooper and wisconsin governor scott walker coming up next after this break.
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back with our roundtable, i want to talk about some of the demographics that play in the campaign. but i t but i think the economy and ohio as you heard from governor racic is really what the debate is at. what did you take away from that rachel. >> i think what's interesting is what's happened in ohio politics. looking at john kasich there, the last time i heard him talk that much uninterrupted was over union rights. he and the republican legislature, they stripped union rights, there was a huge backlash in the state. there was a referendum, they lost by 22 points. were trying to get rid of half of early voting. they took that off the table when they saw the backlash it engendered. there's an organized progressive and centrist movement in ohio because of the kind of governance that kasich was bragging about there. there's another side that i think is going to affect ohio's organizing capacity. that's why i think ohio is
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leaning more blue than it otherwise might be. >> david? >> ohio is prospering in part because of what kasich did. it seems that obama has a leg up in part because of fracking. if some of the environmental groups had been able to shut down fracking, the economy in ohio wouldn't be doing as well as it has. obama could win because of fracking and all the jobs that's creating. the second thing that kasich illustrates is the core issue of this campaign. we've got a need for tremendous government reform. we've got governments that are helping create a sclerotic economy, and what kasich has done, what mitch daniels has done in indiana, some of those reform governors have done the sort of reforms that strip away some of that sclerosis. they're seeing some growth. and i'm surprised that mitt romney isn't running on that sort of broad -- saying i'm not radical. look at what mitch daniels has done, i want to do it for the federal government. >> from a state like ohio. >> it's amazing he's not running on a change washington. he's winning the question, but not by a lot and it's always amazed me because the country is not happy with washington. but i want to go back to your demographic question.
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which is what makes ohio different from all the other battleground states and all of the other mathematics from obama's campaign? it's the state that demographically doesn't fit what they're trying to do everything that they're trying to do in every other swing state is about hispanics and gender. not ohio. ohio is different. why does romney think he can win ohio and catch up? because the demographic group he performs best with nationally is white men. the demographic he's under performing more than in any other battleground state is white men. autoworkers in that toledo to akron -- northwest part of the state. >> i think the reason for that is "a," what rachel mentioned, the fight over union rights. a lot of counties that voted for kasich in the election swung overwhelmingly in favor of the unions in the referendum. secondly, again the auto rescue. which makes a big difference in that quadrant you talked about. which is white working class voters. and governor kasich dissed michigan, which is i suppose what you do when you're governor of ohio. i was up there this week. michigan has had one of the
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biggest drops in unemployment. when obama took office, michigan was a mess because of the auto industry. they've had a huge drop of unemployment even though they're a little bit higher now than michigan. and i was struck that governor kasich suggested that everybody was for the auto rescue. no, they weren't. most republicans, with the exception, by the way, of president george w. bush who let it happen with actions he took, were against the auto rescue. so i don't understand -- well, i do understand, but people just don't want to take responsibility for where they stood on that issue. >> but this was a question, carly, about the auto bailout, about what role government, direct government money would play in restructuring these companies. >> that's right and who stands first in line to be repaid? is it the unions, or is it debtors and creditors? i mean, that was the fundamental question, and the truth is it is disingenuous and factually inaccurate to say that republicans weren't for the rescue of the auto industry. the question was how
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and what and who would be repaid. but let me go back to your original question. of course, it's about the economy. and in ohio, both governor kasich and mitt romney are right. governor kasich is right that his policies, fundamentally different than obama's, lower taxes, close the budget deficit, make -- create a regulatory environment that encourages investment and certainty, that those are improving the situation. governor romney is also, however, correct that there's a long way to go and that there are lots of people in ohio and elsewhere around this country who are unemployed or underemployed, and we have huge progress. and 2% gdp growth is nothing to crow about. in fact, it's less growth than in 2011 and less than 2010. >> all the economic news is because of republican policies and all of the bad economic news is because of democratic policies? >> you said it. not me. >> it's funny. it's just disingenuous. >> how much of this is a problem in terms of how people feel, rachel? we see more economic optimism in the country and, yet, people are still feeling like the obama record is lackluster, and you
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look at the recovery, still not feeling like it's robust enough. >> yeah, and you see it just in the raw consumer confidence numbers. you see consumer confidence trending up and you see the unemployment rate trending down and you see the deficit dropping year to year. you see things going in the right direction. people have to decide if they want to switch horses and go with a guy who is promising a fundamentally different way to go. if he's sort of an economic austerity, more european style way of going or whether you think president obama is turning this thing around, and that's the fundamental decision people have to make. >> the weird thing about this election is the country thinks we're in the wrong direction, and yet i think the most likely outcome is they re-elect everybody and we we get a democratic senate, republican house, and we get the same government we've had the last four years. and so to me the case that has to be made is we have had a rotten tax code, a dysfunctional politics, how are you going to change that? and i haven't seen obama do the sort of big change agenda that he did four years ago. i've seen romney make gestures at it, but not really lay it out in a way that's forceful. i think that would make a change, want to do actual change. >> let me continue that theme. i want to pick up there as we
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turn to the democratic governor of battleground colorado, john hickenlooper, and the republican governor, paul ryan's home state of wisconsin, scott walker. governors, welcome back to "meet the press," both of you. >> glad to be back. >> hi, david. >> both states are pretty tight here, pretty remarkable that wisconsin is tight, as well, good news for romney. a republican hasn't won your state since 1984. and in colorado, governor hickenlooper, look at our latest polling from nbc news and marist. 48-48. i know from talking to the obama campaign they think it's not that close. they think they have an edge, but they know it's tight. governor hickenlooper, you start, what's decisive? what tips the scales in your state and in this election? >> well, i think if you look at the mess that president obama inherited and i mean losing 800,000 jobs a month, month after month, the first few months of his presidency, he's turned it around, got 32 straight months of job creation, 5.2 million jobs. the national export initiative, in the first two years, exports
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were up 38%. i think people are going to hear that, and i think they're also going to recognize that governor romney's plan of adding $2 trillion to military spending and at the same time promising $5 trillion of tax cuts to largely skewed to the wealthier parts of the population without any specifics, right? i mean it's like trying to sell a pig in a poke. i mean, what are those deductions and tax credits he's going to get rid of? are we going to lose the home mortgage deduction? are we going to lose the deduction for giving to philanthropic organizations like churches that are in many cases for local government are our best partners at fighting poverty, improving education, that kind of stuff. >> governor walker, for you as well, the defining issue that determines the outcome in your state? >> well, it's certainly about jobs. in our case it's elections are fundamentally about the future and not about the past. so i think people a few weeks back on that night in denver and john's state outside of his hometown there when voters got to see that mitt romney had a
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plan and the president didn't, and now in the last few days, he's trying to gloss that over with a 20-page glossy document. he doesn't have a plan, mitt romney does. in fact, just yesterday as i was traveling the state, there were literally farmers out in fields that had almost like a burma shave commercial where they had one sign after another after another that listed out the five points of his plan. people want to know how they're going to get working again, whether in janesville or green bay or wausau or milwaukee or superior. they want to know how we're going to get working again. i think it was clear after the debate, we saw record numbers of volunteers coming into the campaign offices. more importantly, we saw the biggest jump in the polls in wisconsin after people saw the difference in that first debate. >> i want to ask you both about the experiences you've had in your states, dealing with the other side, the party on the other side, and how you think that may be instructive to washington and a new congress, and a new administration, whether it's republican or democrat. governor walker, let me start with you, when it comes to balancing the budget, is it really acceptable for governor romney to go to washington, if it comes to that
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and say, well, through tax reform, largely, i'm going to balance the budget or through tax cuts we're going to grow our way into this? is that an appropriately balanced approach to solving this problem? >> well i think more than anything, what people want is action, they want results, they look at the -- i think about my wife, tonette and i looking at our two kids, one who is a freshman in college and the other a senior in high school. we worry that tremendously four years from now, they won't have an opportunity when they get out of college to have a job. we worry tremendously years after that if our kids get married and have kids of their own, that our grandkids won't be able to inherit the kind of america that we grew up in because of the massive debt out there, and so people want results. i think voters want results. >> right. i'm not asking you -- i'm asking you how you get there. >> what's that? >> you have a candidate who has rejected a 10-1 spending cut to tax to revenue increasing formula. does that jibe with you as you have to navigate some tough circumstances in your own state? >> sure. >> is that a way to run washington? >> in wisconsin's case like
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kasich and others did around the country, we lowered the overall property taxes, the overall burden went down and revenues went up. why? because we promoted more growth. we went from a few years ago, having 9.2% unemployment down to 7.3% today. we went from losing hundreds of thousands of jobs to gaining jobs out there. why? because you've got to have a pro-growth agenda. when you do, that will help washington grow in the right direction. it puts more people to work and when more people are working, it helps us balance the economy, as well. >> let me ask a question to governor hickenlooper on the democratic side. do you think the democrats are in effect playing by old rules, too protective of entitlements, not serious enough about looking at serious reform that could also have a bigger impact on how to deal with the debt? >> you know, i think you've got to look at it -- you've got to have both and in colorado we have certainly worked hard, unlike the president, when i got elected in 2010, republicans sat down, we worked together. you know we did our budget last year, in a divided general assembly, we passed it with 86 out of 100 votes.
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and you've got to have -- it's great to continue trying to get rid of red tape and lower taxes wherever possible, but you also got to have some revenue sources, too. if we're going to deal with the fiscal cliff, right, in the lame duck session, which i think is a huge challenge, we've got to get everybody working together. i mean you look at some of the people that really do understand job creation and how businesses grow, warren buffett, who supported president obama, i mean he's looking at this cliff issue as really one of the key issues. people do want certainty, but that's the biggest uncertainty of them all is can republicans and democrats work together and get a resolution here? >> let me ask you both, it's striking to me -- >> just on that one point. >> yeah, go ahead, governor. >> i would say on that point briefly, remember, both of us are governors here. mitt romney is a governor in a state where 85% of the legislature was democrat-controlled. and yet he balanced a budget, did it without raising taxes in a way that helped create more jobs. per your point, he's proven he can do it in a state like massachusetts.
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i think he can do it in america. >> it struck me there's not a more robust debate in this campaign about gun violence in america and what to do about that. as if somehow, the federal government -- the state governments for that matter should just sort of keep their hands off it and not let it happen. but sort of -- sort of abdicate this idea that, well, there's not much in terms of regulation that can you do to accomplish this. both states that you represent have had shooting rampages. governor hickenlooper, have you been disappointed that there's not a more robust debate about this? >> no. i think that if you look at some of the weapons that people are using in these senseless attacks, i mean 12-gauge shotguns, what, are there 120 million out there? i do worry that some of the cuts that governor romney is proposing are going to cut funding in all manner of levels for mental health. i mean that's one of the big issues. we've got some crazy folks out there that are just completely delusional. we've got to be able to identify that sooner and get them into treatment, get them off the street before they do some sort of insane act. >> governor walker, how do you respond to that?
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why not more of a debate about this? it's been virtually absent. >> well, in our case, at least in the recent tragedy we had in wisconsin, we need greater focus, something that republicans and democrats can agree on, a greater focus on tightening up domestic violence laws, because that's where the biggest problem was in the recent tragedy in the state of wisconsin. we didn't do enough in this state apparently at least at the local level to adequately enforce those laws, we didn't do enough to stand up for domestic violence victims in our state at the local level and i think that's something that is not a partisan level. and it's certainly something that at the federal, the state and local level needs to be highlighted. >> we'll leave it there and we'll be watching both your states very closely in the days leading up to election day. thanks, governors, to both of you. >> thank you. >> we're going to take another quick break here. more with the roundtable coming back, including the demographic issue. the fight for women voters, the fight for latino voters, how much that's going to impact. plus, what are we going to see from either a romney administration or an obama second term? we'll get into that right after this break.
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coming up, what to expect after the election. more with our roundtable after this. @ñ
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back with our roundtable, one of the big pushes in the final nine days is for women. and you've seen this across the landscape here, not only in the presidential race, but in the tight senate races, as well. we have the latest out of indiana with the candidate there, richard mourdock, talking about rape once again, that it could be god's will and that a pregnancy because of rape should
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be taken to term. this ironically and the timing was bad for mitt romney was the only senate campaign that romney had actually weighed in on with an endorsement. and so the democratic national committee aired this ad to get into this debate. >> this fall i'm supporting richard mourdock for senate. >> even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that god intended to happen. >> this is a man who i want to see in washington to make sure that we cannot just talk about changing things, but actually have the votes to get things changed. >> and this follows, of course, the todd akin, the candidate in missouri, talking about legitimate rape. carly fiorina, this seems to be a cultural problem within the republican party. you can't lay this at the feet of mitt romney to be sure. but there are a lot of women who are seeing this as fundamental disrespect for women that is part of the republican party. how do you see it? >> well, first of all, talk about bad timing for mitt romney's endorsement.
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richard mourdock said a really stupid thing, and he apologized. and governor romney's position on life is identical to richard mourdock's democratic opponent. in other words, in that state there are two pro-life candidates running. richard mourdock is clearly more extreme. and i agree, i think most people disagree with him. but here's the reason why governor romney is gaining among women right now. he is gaining among women, and that's because women care about the economy. women care about the role of government. women care about their children's education. women care about their health care. and more women are living in poverty under this president than at any time in decades. that's why governor romney is winning with women. >> fair point. rachel, one of the things you're seeing, it was tina fey speaking in new york, seem to strike the chord about going beyond abortion, about do you trust women enough to let them make decisions about their own lives? this is how she talked about it. >> if i have to listen to one
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more gray-faced man with a $2 haircut explain to me what rape is, i'm going to lose my mind. >> frankly, to be fair, i mean the romney campaign is probably thinking the same thing, i'm going to lose my mind if we have to keep talking about rape in this election. its association with the republican party that he does not want to be associated with. right, but then he picked paul ryan. they have the fight over forced ultrasounds, the government telling you you need to have a medically unnecessary procedure at the order of the state, regardless of what you want or regardless of what your doctor says and he picked a guy who picked a forced ultrasound bill for the country, paul ryan was on board with that. paul ryan was a co-sponsor with todd akin of a bill to redefine rape. paul ryan was a co-sponsor of a bill to have personhood federally, which would not only ban all abortions, it would also
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ban in vitro fertilization and most forms of birth control. if you want to avoid the fight, don't put paul ryan on the ticket. there's a reason he's been in alabama, georgia, south carolina this week and not in the swing states. >> and the republican platform talked about you shouldn't be able to do in vitro fertilization, something that a lot of republican women have a problem with. it's on the republican platform. >> virginia and colorado, both of those states, michael bennett is in the united states senate in colorado, he survived because of the abortion issue because of the gender gap. he created one of the widest gender gaps in any senate race in the country in 2010. i want to get to a larger point, the issue, the irony to akin and mourdock and hearing somebody with the nrc. what you just said about mourdock is a reminder. that isn't who the nrsc wanted, they wanted more moderate republicans, more establishment republicans, but they've not been able to police their own party, they can't. because the base of the party will lash out at them this is an anchor around mitt romney. one of the things our polling has shown is that mitt romney has better favorable ratings than the republican party overall. the democratic party has better favorable ratings than the republican party overall.
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i think there's a case to be made, if mitt romney does not win this election, there will be people pointing fingers at him. i think the fault lies with the republican party took its image, took a turn to the right as far as some voters are concerned in the middle that romney himself should be able to win. >> here's the thing. voters vote for people, not parties. so romney -- romney's on the ticket, not the republican party. >> i don't know. >> first i want to defend the gray-faced guys with $2 haircuts. >> where do you get a $2 haircut? >> the crucial gap is a marriage gap. republicans and mitt romney are doing better by almost 20 points among married people, including married women. democrats and barack obama are doing better than 20 points among single women. and so that's the crucial gap here. and so that is a question of, that's how you tailor who you're trying to get. and the republicans are doing extremely well among people who want bipartisanship, among people who want some stability, and so they're doing well among that group. but where republicans are
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falling short is among the single group where obama is doing well, remember the ad where he said government is going to help you here, help you here, republicans have not offered a counter help you. >> i want to go to chuck's point about the republican right. i think one thing we've seen in this election, the right wing lost this election. mitt romney signaled that in the first debate where he said you know all this tea party stuff we've been running on for two years, well, i know i can't win the election on that, i'm going somewhere else. the second point is you saw something interesting in that mourdock example in terms of how mitt romney responds to the pressures in his own party. he could have pulled down the ad that he made for richard mourdock, and he refused to pull that ad down. and the third thing is the whole discussion of i will be bipartisan. i can't help but want to point out that the republicans for the entirety of obama's term have said no, no, no. and so what they're really saying is we've been nasty when there's a democrat as president. but elect a republican and we'll be happy to work for him. this is kind of political extortion.
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>> well, i want to button this conversation up with what i think is an overarching point. that really does frame the last nine days. we were told this was going to be the ultimate clarifying campaign. two distinct choices. now, i feel nine days out a fair amount of uncertainty. there's the question of which mitt romney are you going to get if he becomes president and there's the question of what's a second term for president obama going to look like? >> right, they both fuzz that up a little bit. i want to talk about the last nine days, we were talking about how mitt romney has a message advantage in this respect -- he gets to say the same thing for the next nine days because all he's trying to do is win over the swing voting women, if you will. that's swing voting women. yes, he's got to figure out how to fix the auto bailout. but he only has to talk one game. barack obama, because he's putting together this tapestry, this coalition, has to hits -- chris matthews likes to call it hit the xylophone. hit the note for labor, hit the note for women, hit the note for hispanics. it's more complicated. and i think that's why we've
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this debate, macro versus micro. i think the obama campaign in hindsight, this is how they get to 50 plus 1. it's the reason why you don't hear the larger message, because he can't do it. >> david, i disagree with your premise, i think, yes, there have been changes in position and i would argue there have been more changes in obama's positions, frankly. i think there's a very clear choice here, an extremely clear choice between a man who is saying, i am going to run and govern with pro-growth policies. i am going to govern through bipartisan coalitions and a president who has manifestly not governed with pro-growth policies. >> i wonder why. >> it's amazing to me that we're still saying that president obama was such a weak president. he was unable to work his will in washington. >> i got to wrap here. he was unable to work his will in washington. thank goodness we have nine more days because we need nine more days to continue this debate. great conversation this morning. thank you all very much. a reminder, stay with nbc news all week for a special coverag